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Bath Anxiety in Dogs

There are some remedies that may help to calm your dog a bit for the bathing process, and you may want to try some behavior modification techniques as well. Here are a few possible remedies:

Either one of the following homeopathic remedies might help. They are totally safe – no side effects and no possibility of overdosing or interference with any other medication or supplement your dog may be taking:

  • HomeoPet Anxiety
  • Newton Homeopathics Nervousness

Herbal remedies that may also help:

  • Only Natural Pet Relaxi-Herb Herbal Formula
  • Apawthecary Tranquility Blend

With the herbal remedies you would want to start giving it to your dog at least a couple days before the first bath. The homeopathic remedies you could start the day before or just a few hours before. 

There is no way for us to determine which of these would be best for your dog. Each animal responds differently to different remedies and supplements.  Please keep in mind, however, that whichever remedy you select will be much more effective along with proper training and behavior modification techniques.

Which brings us to behavior modification:  A good trainer would have far more suggestions than I do – you could get a referral from a local veterinarian or the Humane Society. From my own experience I would suggest building up to giving a bath over the course of a week or two – whatever you have time for. 

  1. Make sure the water is a comfortable temperature – dogs are more sensitive to hot water than we are, so a bit cooler than you think is comfortable would probably be right.
  2. Go slowly and give LOTS of his favorite treats. (Make a meal out of it if necessary). The first time you might just work your way up to running a little water on his feet – while GIVING LOTS OF TREATS AND PRAISE.
  3. A day or two later – do it again – feet only – LOTS OF TREATS AND PRAISE.
  4. A day or two later – work up his legs a bit – LOTS OF TREATS AND PRAISE (you get the picture).
  5. A day or two later – get his stomach and back end wet, maybe just shampoo the legs if all is going well.
  6. IF all is going REAL well, then a day or two later you can attempt a bath. GO SLOWLY, and don’t get tense or upset or you’ll lose all the previous gains you’ve made. If you can be REALLY patient through this process, your dog will end up LOVING baths in the long run. I have three dogs that jump right into the bathtub for me now. They don’t get treats anymore until after the bath, but the first 5-6 baths they got LOTS, and then I just tapered off.

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The articles and information in the Holistic Healthcare Library are presented for informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of any product. The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian. Instead, the content offers the reader information and opinions written by our staff, guest authors, and/or veterinarians concerning animal health issues and animal care products.

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